Comedy drama Butterflies Are Free at Sidmouth Summer Play Festival

PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:38 02 September 2019

Maisie Young, one of the cast of Butterflies Are Free. Picture: Michael  Wharley

Maisie Young, one of the cast of Butterflies Are Free. Picture: Michael Wharley


A comedy drama which was a Broadway hit and became an Oscar-winning film opens on Thursday, August 29 as part of the Sidmouth Summer Play Festival.

Joe Clowser, who plays the leading role. Picture: Supplied by artistJoe Clowser, who plays the leading role. Picture: Supplied by artist

Don Baker, the central character of Butterflies Are Free, has been blind since birth. His mother is very protective and follows his every move.

Against her wishes, Don moves into a flat in Manhattan to pursue his songwriting ambitions. When she visits unexpectedly and finds he has befriended his neighbour Jill, a sexy, free-thinking actress, her controlling instincts go into overdrive.

Actor Joe Clowser has the challenge of playing Don Baker.

"Playing a blind character is obviously going to add an extra dimension to the rehearsal process," he said.

Hilary Harwood. Picture: Darren BellHilary Harwood. Picture: Darren Bell

"It's scary but exciting and I only hope that I can create a convincing portrayal of Don.

"The great thing about the play is that Don is a positive, confident character who is making the most of life and pushing the boundaries of his experience beyond the comfort of his parental home."

Producer Jonny Clines believes the play will appeal to the Sidmouth audience.

"It is both a heart-warming drama and a very funny story," he said.

Mark Laverty. Picture;  Supplied by artistMark Laverty. Picture; Supplied by artist

"The clash in values between Don's conservative mother and the trendy, hip New Yorkers Don meets in Manhattan is comedy gold." Butterflies Are Free is at the Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth, from Thursday, August 29 until Wednesday, September 4. To buy tickets visit the theatre's website or call the box office on 01395 514 413. To read an independent review of the play by Cormac Richards, click here.

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